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Israeli coalition member from Meretz lobbying European MPs to attack Israel

CM 21/10/2021

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Meretz MK and coalition member Mossi Raz lobbied European members of parliament and members of the European Parliament (MEPs) this week to find “robust consequences” for what he described as Israel’s violations of international law
Raz, together with MK Aida Touma-Suleiman of the Joint List, sent a letter to hundreds of European MPs detailing what they said were “widespread displacement and forcible transfer of Palestinians” in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, and asked the foreign parliamentarians to sign the statement.
Once the letter has received the signatures of sufficient numbers of parliamentarians, it will be presented to the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, various European foreign ministers, and published in media outlets.
The letter, obtained by The Jerusalem Post, was originally sent earlier this year but Raz sent a follow-up email on Tuesday this week reminding the MPs of the statement and asking again for their support and signature.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s office declined a request for comment as to his views on a member of the coalition lobbying against the government.

Meretz MKs Michal Rozin and Mossi Raz on a tour of West Bank outposts on Thursday with Peace Now (credit: PEACE NOW)Meretz MKs Michal Rozin and Mossi Raz on a tour of West Bank outposts on Thursday with Peace Now (credit: PEACE NOW)

Raz said in response that “foreign members of parliament have a role in ending the occupation,” something he said was “an Israeli interest of the first degree” and “an unparalleled patriotic deed.”
Meretz leader and Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In his email on Tuesday to European parliamentarians, Raz said that the letter had already been signed by over 300 European MPs and MEPs, adding “We would be most grateful if you would add your name to this initiative as well.”
The MK noted further that “the Bennett government,” of which his Meretz Party is a member, is advancing the planning process for the construction of large numbers of housing units in the E1 area of the West Bank settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim, outside of Jerusalem, something advocates of a two-state solution say would harm contiguous Palestinian development in that area, rendering a Palestinian state unviable.
The letter itself asserts that “Decades of occupation and dispossession” have resulted in a “discriminatory reality in which Israelis and Palestinians have different and unequal rights,” and noted that a recent report by Human Rights Watch accused Israel of apartheid.
It also brought attention to what it said was “widespread displacement and forcible transfer of Palestinians currently taking place across the West Bank,” highlighting imminent evictions in east Jerusalem neighborhoods of Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan.
“Violations of international law, like the ones we witnessed unfolding, must come with robust consequences, in Israel-Palestine, as elsewhere,” reads the letter.
“It is crucial that European governments support relevant international accountability efforts,” the letter continues, calling for European countries “to take immediate and concrete steps to prevent the displacement and forcible transfer of Palestinian families, especially in East Jerusalem.”
The letter also calls for European countries “to upgrade and actualize efforts” regarding “the illegality of Israeli settlements and the importance of differentiating between Israel and the settlements.”
Asked for comment as to what the implication of “robust consequences” and “relevant international accountability efforts” means, Raz said that he and Touma-Suleiman were “calling on the European Union to use diplomatic tools it has with Israel, in order to stop evictions and house demolitions, construction in the settlements and settler violence, and to seek a diplomatic solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Asked about the letter’s comments on settlements, whether he was calling for sanctions against Israel, Raz said “I oppose a boycott against Israel and am not calling for it,” insisting that he was instead asking representatives of the European Union “to work with the government of Israel and to declare that they support the end of the occupation and the settlements, and the establishment of a Palestinian state next to Israel.”
Asked if he would continue to lobby foreign members of parliament against his own government, Raz said he “will continue to struggle for Israel and against the occupation with the means at my disposal. Together with the daily struggle in Israel, I believe that foreign members of parliament have a role in ending the occupation which is an Israeli interest of the first degree… to ensure a better future for Israelis, and is not against Israel but an unparalleled patriotic deed.”

Source: Jerusalem Post

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